Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer sketching

Summer is here in the Northwest, there's no doubt about it! In my corner of Washington the temperature is supposed to climb to 100 degrees by the end of the week! As much as I love being outdoors, when it gets that hot I only go out early in the morning or late in the evening. The rest of the time I stay inside and find other things to amuse myself. Normally, that includes processing a lot of fruits and vegetables from my garden, but some days I just need a creative break so today I sat down and did a page in my sketchbook journal.

I have been watching a pair of killdeer that are nesting in a church parking lot near my home. On days like today I feel so bad for them because they nest on the ground or many times on flat roofs with gravel and the temperature must be unbearable for them. But there they sit, with feathers raised and panting to let heat escape all the while shading the eggs so they don't overheat. That's one dedicated parent! 
 There's not much that gets them to move unless you approach too closely. Then they give a sharp alarm cry and go in to their broken wing routine to lure you away from their well camouflaged nest. 

Killdeer lay their eggs in a scrape in the gravel and they are cryptically marked to blend in with the surroundings so they are very hard to see. A bird loving church-goer placed large stones around this nest to mark it's location so that it would not accidentally get run over. If all goes well it shouldn't be too long before the unbelievably cute chicks hatch and the whole family can run off to a cooler location. 

I will continue to monitor their progress when I go out for my early morning walks. Hopefully, I will get to see the whole family foraging together for bugs and make sketches of those cute chicks when I'm not up to my eyeballs in produce!